Sunday, February 1, 2004

- Aerosmith (once you filter out the screaming)

That is what I hope many of you in schoolyard land will be able to do by Tuesday morning. There are a few revisions to the overall forecast below, but in general we are still on track for a moderate to significant icing event for much of the Baltimore-Philadelphia portion of the I-95 corridor on Tuesday.

revised Mon 5:30 AM

4 PM - Cloudy, cool
7 PM - Cloudy, cool
10 PM -Clouds thicken, a passing flurry

1 AM – A few flurries
4 AM - Light snow and sleet
7 AM - Light to moderate sleet and snow
10 AM- Sleet and freezing rain
1 PM - Freezing rain and perhaps a brief period of just rain.
4 PM - Freezing rain slowly changing back to sleet and snow
7 PM - Light to moderate snow…totaling 2-4” (2" S and E of BAL, 4" N and W of BAL)
10 PM- Light snow tapering to flurries

1 AM - Cloudy, moisture at surface begins re-freezing
4 AM - Clearing skies
7 AM - Partly cloudy, cold, windy.

STORM # 1 PRELIMINARY TOTALS: .25 -.50" ice and 2-4" snow

PHILADELPHIA: (Revised Mon 2/2) Tuesday from midnight through the day.
Most areas will start with sleet and snow, but a changeover to freezing rain and rain later in the day. It now appears that due to PHL's proximity to the coast and warmer air available, your ice and snow amounts will be cut down considerably. The onset of precip earlier in the morning in the Baltimore area will translate into a late morning start in PHL.

STATE COLLEGE/ALTOONA: Monday night through Tuesday night
All areas will see heavy snow and sleet for the entire period, accumulating about 6” by Tue evening.

Monday: No problems.
Tuesday : No school for anyone in Central PA or the BAL area. It will be a tough call for the PHL schools. The onset of precip will be right at the time buses are being prepared, and it is only going to get worse with time, just like last Tuesday. Schools will realize a 2-hour delay would be a bad call, and close outright.
Wednesday : Though the storm will be gone, it depends how quickly crews clean up the ice. A 2-hour delay in the BAL area is a good bet due to significant ice problems.
Thursday : School open all day.. but it gets iffy after 1 PM as snow is expected by then in BAL.
Friday : If the forecast pans out...BAL schools will have to close again.

Cold air returns behind this storm and that sets the stage for Storm #2 which will follow a nearly similar path Thursday night into Friday. However it may have more cold air available than # 1, so we could very well face another ice/snow storm. Liquid equivalents with # 2 are averaging .75 to 1.00, but as always, there is a classic debate starting already between AccuWeather and the NWS on the outcome of this storm. AccuWx is leaning towards a rain event, while NWS already seems to be banking on a snow event. We shall see. The best rule right now is that areas which receive snow on Tuesday will be blasted again Thursday night and Friday.

The weather pattern we’re locked into now does not show any sign of letting up until at least after the 15th. The Siberian Express is projected to get recharged next week, and the southern jet stream is expected to remain active for another 10 days or so. That means the parade of storms and cold will continue for the near future. So stock up on road salt and peppermint tea now while you can. And keep checking this site for the final word in weather.

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